Why Every Thinkpiece Writer Should Be Put In a Rocket And Shot Into Space

17 Jul

Yesterday was the day thinkpiece writers broke me, and today is the day that my hate for the thinkpiece solidified into a beautiful and shiny black rock nestled in my chest.

It feels good.

And I gotta say it wasn’t even the dueling banjo thinkpieces published by Time that did it (though they helped). I read White Gays Should Stop Stealing from Black Women and the whacky followup “Black Women Should Be Allied With White Gays” whatever it was called. I knew that  Time gave about as much shit for either group as a virus cares for its host. Then on twitter the followup hashtags to the article started like a knee jerk reaction from people who wanted to engage with the content of the articles without even questioning why Time would put out said content in the first place.

And then I unfollowed everyone in my timeline taking Time seriously and let me tell you it felt GOOD to do that.

Exhausted, I opened an article at the Advocate about biphobia that started off with a rude joke at the writer’s expense, the writer’s date (who was gay) said his penis might have vagina cooties.

Vagina cooties.

That’s when I snapped. Listen, biphobia is real, but it ain’t a date telling you an awful joke. Homophobia is real but homophobia isn’t someone asking me at a party “who is the man in the relationship?” I’m well aware that thinkpiece writers need a hook, but the hook for these stories always seem to be an encounter with a well-meaning ignoramus who represents (in increasingly cloudy circumstances) a direct connection to a larger injustice. What’s the connection? Who knows, it’s always spurious, always more about being annoyed than oppressed, lacking in numbers and studies, lacking any real oppression.

And let’s be honest here, as a brown and gay person who grew up poor, I should be the golden egg of SJ thinkpieces. I sit on multiple axises of oppression, but I will be the first to tell you that my life is actually pretty good.

How good? Let’s count the ways.

I live in the US, I live in a State where gay marriage is legal, I am getting married, I have income, I can speak two languages, I am a voracious reader, I’ve been published, I can use a computer! Do I need to go on? But it’s a rarity to hear from thinkpiece writers the acute anxieties that revolve around their identities. The better question to be tackled is, why are you here representing your identity when others are not? What do you have that they did not?

I heard from the writer of the Advocate piece, he seemed a little anxious that his piece might have put me off. Today, a friend of mine was contacted by a writer of a thinkpiece that she tweeted about 2 days ago. He was passive-aggressive, invasive even, using his identity as a brown person as a shield to her critiques.

And that is the moment when I realized I fucking hate thinkpieces and thinkpiece writers. I’ve long flirted with this distaste, but it’s official.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”

Socrates said that, and so far thinkpiece writers have refused to examine their own lives, favoring a critique of society so paper thin it’s transparent. The descriptions of oppression have been made historically, but they have been made by people denied housing, denied opportunities, but the average thinkpiece writer transposes those arguments to something so frivolous as a party or a bad date. The Time pieces come from a place of over-educated buffoonery and media frivolity. The thinkpiece beast creates stupid content, and then eats itself with counter thinkpieces and hashtags. Put an end to this and join me in launching all of these people out into space.

Further Reading

The Thinkpiece Industrial Complex

 

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